How Restaurant and Bar Workers Can Protect Themselves From Ongoing Health Risks

Restaurants, bars, and pubs are commonly associated with a social and often tightly-packed atmosphere, posing a considerable risk for the ongoing transmission of viruses like COVID-19.

While many restaurants and watering holes have shifted their business models and introduced unique solutions to reduce the spread of airborne illness, workers including servers, cooks, food handlers, and bartenders must take personal precautions to best protect their well-being.

Protecting Food And Drink Industry Workers From Health Risks

Bars and restaurants will always carry a high risk of spreading illness, making food service employers and staff a first line of defense for their customers and fellow workers.

AIHA has created this “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” was created alongside leading health and government organizations and borrow from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice to give bar and restaurant workers actionable ways to safeguard their health.

The guides discuss the health risks that food service professionals face and practical solutions to keep restaurant and bar staff safe from the spread of illness. The goal is to help employees and employers know how to protect themselves, with specific guidance on:

How bar and restaurant employees can protect themselves from health risks:

  • Recommended personal protective equipment for restaurant and bar employees and customers

  • What to do if you feel the urge to sneeze or cough at a restaurant

  • Best practices to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 while eating or drinking

  • Personal hygiene practices and how frequently workers should wash their hands

How bar and restaurant owners can protect their workers and customers from health risks:

  • Guidance on how to limit the number of customers in the bar or restaurant at one time

  • Recommended signage to ensure staff and customers are aware of the latest safety protocols

  • Best practices for managing events like live music or open-mic nights

  • Proper ventilation practices to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19

  • Disinfection protocols for menus, bar seating, tables, aprons, towels, and other potential contaminated surfaces

Download our “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” to learn proven strategies that protect restaurant workers and their customers.

Additional Restaurant and Bar Safety Resources

To access more help and resources to understand and avoid the health risks of restaurant and bar work, we recommend you explore the following resources and networks.

Resources by Type

  • Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook
    The recent pandemic has taught us many important lessons about the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, RSV, and measles in indoor environments. As a result, we must take advantage of what we have learned to help ensure our places of work are and continue to be safe places for our workers, customers, and communities. Many of the steps you can take to help keep buildings and the people in them safer and healthier are simple and effective and can be adjusted to meet the current situation or infectious disease risk that exists. In this e-book, we will walk you through the different approaches to help mitigate the risk of spreading airborne infectious diseases depending on your workplace setting.

  • Nation’s Restaurant News

  • Restaurant Business

  • Modern Restaurant Management